McVay: Matthew Stafford ‘can certainly play better’ but he didn’t get much help vs. 49ers

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Matthew Stafford could do no wrong for the Los Angeles Rams in the first eight weeks of the season, firmly placing himself near the top of the NFL MVP race. In the team’s first eight games, Stafford had 2,477 yards and 22 touchdowns while completing 68.9% of his attempts.

The Rams also had a 7-1 record entering their Week 9 tilt with the Tennessee Titans. Since then, things have gone awry for Stafford and the offense, totaling 26 points in the past two weeks.

Stafford himself has completed 64% of his passes for two touchdowns and four interceptions in the past two games. Sean McVay admits that Stafford needs to be better, and he also spoke about other potential reasons why Stafford has been wayward in recent weeks.

“I think it’s a combination. I think Matthew can certainly play better, but I do think a lot of the things that occurred last night were a reflection of as simple as drops. He had a lot of drops. The one kind of careless play, but you could look at it and say it ends up being like a good, deep punt. He’s going to get knocked on his quarterback rating for a tipped pick for him when a guy drops a screen for him. That’s not Matthew’s fault. He put the ball in the right location,” McVay said. “There was a lot of plays that I thought guys had a chance that they didn’t help him at all either. It is the greatest team sport. I expect that he can play a little bit better. I think there’s some decisions, but I didn’t think he got much help from a lot of really good teammates that I know can play a lot better. And then there’s definitely some things that we can do to put him in better spots. I think, rather than just looking at the rating or whatever, you’ve got to watch each play for its own entity and realize there was a lot more to it than maybe what a rating or just the stats simply say because you need some help as well.”

Drops were certainly an issue versus the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10 as the Rams combined for six drops as a team. Cooper Kupp uncharacteristically dropped a pass on third down, Tyler Higbee had two drops (one of which led to a pick-six), Van Jefferson dropped a surefire touchdown, and Ben Skowronek let a high throw from Stafford go through his fingers in the end zone.

Besides the drops in Week 10, Stafford does need to perform more consistently in the remaining games on the schedule. His decision to air it out to Odell Beckham Jr. on the first drive of Monday night’s contest despite it being double-coverage was far from ideal.

Stafford will have the bye week to clean up some of his recent mistakes. At the same time, McVay is focused on putting Stafford and the offense in better situations moving forward.

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